Goals, Initiatives and Doing More in Photography

In this rather eclectic show I open the mail bag once again, talk about my new initiatives for 2020, discuss photography goals and I’ve got two pieces of recommended gear for you.


Links Mentioned in today’s show:

Join me in the Palouse for a Shoot-n-Print Workshop. May 24–25 and June 15–16. https://latitudephotographyschool.com/workshops/palouse-shoot-n-print-workshop/

Use this link AND the code “latitude15” the next time you need to rent gear. I’ll get a small percentage and you’ll get 15% off.

Lensrentals.com affiliate link: https://www.gopjn.com/t/SENJRktJT01DR09OS0lLQ0dLT0tGTg

Need to carry your gear in style? Treat yourself to a ThinkTank Photo bag with this link and get a free gift at checkout: http://bit.ly/2IMRhOT

Sign up to be the first notified when the new Latitude Photography School is available and open for business: https://latitudephotographyschool.com

Main Topics

Today I’m talking about:

  1. Opening the mail bag with a listener question
  2. New Initiatives
  3. Photography Goals, Where I’m headed.
  4. Two pieces of recommended gear.

The Mail Bag:

Question: Renos wrote in recently saying, “I really enjoyed your podcast this week about the cropped/full-frame sensors. It got me thinking about my next step in photography but I have a bit of a dilemma.

I currently use a Canon EOS 100D (18MP) DSLR which I have had for quite a few years now and I’m really happy with it. It has a cropped sensor and the current lenses I use are all EFS mounts and Canon lenses (50mm prime 1.8; 10-18mm IS; 18-55mm kit lens with IS; and a 75-300mm zoom lens without image stabilization). I want to eventually get into macro photography but am doing a lot of portrait photography at the moment and wanted to better that with regards to quality and sharpness of my images.

I am looking to either upgrade my camera to a full frame DSLR or buy a much better quality lens (with an EF mount now) so that I will still be able to use it when upgrading in the future. I don’t have a lot of space to move around when I set up the studio as I do all of that in my living room currently. When using the 50mm prime to get the best quality photos I always have to step back quite a bit and if I did eventually buy an 85mm prime this would be even more difficult for me. The kit lens is good but I don’t get as great picture quality with it.

Would you recommend staying with Canon or moving to a new brand of camera? Should I stay with a DSLR or move to mirrorless? My budget isn’t a lot at this stage but wanted to know what I should be saving for and wanted some advice from you as I know you know a lot about this.

Please let me know if you need any more info from me.

Answer: My thinking is that if you stick with DSLR you should give yourself an expectation of about 5 years with it. Let’s say you stick with Canon. And you get a better lens now and eventually you get a 5D4 or some such. The prices are coming down with the market shifting to mirrorless systems such as the Canon R and Sony etc. But, all the EF lenses will also come down in price when looking on the used market especially. So with that, you’ve got something easier on the budget. Especially that 85mm f/1.8. That has already depreciated in price quite a bit on the used market, and will continue to slide over the next year I’m sure, though not to the degree other EF lenses will slide. 

I’ve chosen to give Sony a look for one major reason. The mount is the same between their crop sensor and FF bodies AND all the lenses are interchangeable between the bodies. I like the flexibility that it gives. Plus, the mount is smaller than the new Canon and Nikon mounts and I like the actual size savings I see in the Sony crop sensor cameras. They’re really doing good work there. 

However, switching camera systems is a HUGE undertaking both in workflow expectations and finances. Your current kit isn’t worth a whole lot on the used market so you don’t have the advantage of lessening the blow financially by selling it. There’s some value there, but not a whole lot.

So here’s what it comes down to, in my opinion anyway. Stick with canon for now. Give it 3-5 more years and take advantage of the price drops that will happen due to most everyone else switching to the R system or other camera systems. At that time you’ll be that much further down your photography journey and you can decide if the R system is fleshed out enough to stick with canon or to bail. At that time there will also be a lot of Sony A7Riv models out there on the used market so switching to Sony (if that’s your desire) will still be cheaper and whoa, what a camera!

For myself, I’m considering switching to the A7R3 as the camera on the used market is looking fairly decent and I don’t feel I need 60+ MP right now (though I would absolutely like it!) I’m also being tempted by the Fuji GFX system and if money were no object to me I’d go Leica SL2.

New Initiatives

I’m starting a few new things this year. A part of me says I’m biting too much off, I’m going to deep into it. But I think I’ve got a good plan and I’d like to share it with you.

  1. More YouTubing
    I’ll be creating more for the YT channel and I’ll be consuming more. 
  2. Latitude Photography School
    I’ve already announced this. It’s my goal to have things “finished enough” to release it before Spring Break, but let’s face it, I might have to use my Spring Break to finish it off.
  3. Less Podcasting
    With these changes in my YouTube strategy and my photography school I’m starting I need to relieve something in my schedule. I’ll be moving forward with the podcast every other week. At least for the time being. There may be times when I release shows more frequently but for now I’ll try and keep it to every other week. I’ve got some great guests coming on the show here soon, so Jan 12 we’ll have Bob Coates on and then that’s when we’ll go with the new schedule of every other week. January 26 will be an interview with Ben Horne. These two photographers do some amazing work and I think you’ll enjoy my conversations with them.
  4. Casting Call
    I’m looking for some of you that would be interested in coming on about once a quarter. I’ve already asked two folks if they’d be interested and they said yes, so that’s great. I’ll get them scheduled soon and we’ll start having some regular appearances with some other photographers.
    I’m looking for possibly two more. Here’s how you apply. Send me an email with the subject of “casting call” to brent@latitudephotographypodcast.com Include the following:
    Website link or other link to some of your favorite images (can also be an included PDF)
    A recorded introduction of yourself. Tell me your name, what time zone you’re in and what photography genres you specialize in. Don’t worry about audio quality at this time. Just send me a brief introduction and let me hear you talk briefly about yourself and your photography. Use your voice recording app on your cell phone if you’d like. It doesn’t matter.
    If you’re a photographer with the following qualifications then you’re invited and encouraged to submit an application: 1. You have a big interest in the genres of Travel or Landscape or other Outdoor photography; 2. You have regular availability either Fridays or Sundays during regular business hours for the Pacific Time Zone, You’re willing to invest a small amount into a mic for quality recording on your end, I can grab your recording here, you just need a good mic, those generally can be had for about $50; 3. You have a good broadband internet connection and can use Skype to connect; 4. You’re excited or at least interested in sharing your thoughts and opinions on various photography topics.

Photography Goals, Where I’m  headed

1. I want to get out more and more. I just love shooting. I plan to dedicate more time to shooting locally, up to three hours drive away.

2. I want to shoot more Astro, but right now I don’t have the best lens for it. So I’ll do what I can for now, I do have a star tracker I can use, so that helps, but I’d like to eventually work my way up to more deep space (longer lens) nigh photography. That will require some serious trial and error on the star tracker side of things.

3. I have one of two tracks for “getting out” that I plan to follow. Either a.) visit at least four national parks this year or b.) travel to two different international destinations that require a flight (i.e. Driving to B.C. Canada doesn’t count, but if I visited a National Park that would count for that goal) I’ve yet to make my decisions but that’s the idea for how I see this shaking out.
One idea for the National Park visits is a return to Alaska. I’m going to apply for an Artist in the Park program up there and see if that works out. In general they offer 8–12 day opportunities going out in the backcountry with a ranger and I think that would just be loads of fun and would be an amazing opportunity for some incredible photographs.

4. Camera gear. Sony? Canon, others? Discussion on this topic.

Two pieces of recommended gear

1. Urban Access 15 by ThinkTank Photo http://bit.ly/2ml3QbU

2. BH-1 by Kirk Enterprises

Tip of the Week.

Brent: Texture. Go hunting for texture and work to emphasize it. Find a type of texture and see how many different subjects you can shoot that speak to that type of texture. But only spend an hour or two doing this. Give yourself a time crunch to see what you can come up with. 

Reminders

  1. I’m always looking for feedback and ideas so please reach out if you’ve got a show idea or someone you’d like me to interview. Send me an email at brent@latitudephotographypodcast.com 
  2. Also, would you mind leaving a review of the show whether in Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen? 
  3. I’ve announced my next big project and that is https://latitudephotographyschool.com I’ll have tutorials, deep-dive courses and my workshops listed there. Over my Christmas break I’ll be working like mad to get that moving and I’ll also bring back my personal website at brentbergherm.com where I’ll showcase galleries of my photography. Sign up today to be the first notified of when the school is open.
    Photography, travel and education is where my heart is and I can’t wait to get this thing fully launched. If there’s anything you’re just itching to learn more about, please reach out and let me know.
  4. Along with the school I’m also starting longer-term deep-dive mentorships. If you’d like to dive really deep into advancing your photography this year, maybe I can help. I invite you to reach out and if I think I can help then we’ll get something set up. Presently, I can only help three at a time so that means there’s two spots left for the first half of 2020. Mentorships will last about six months and we’ll have a couple of weekly meetings to start out with and we’ll go with monthly meetings after that. All the while you’ll get email support too. So if you need a kick in the pants to kickstart your next big project or to fine tune your creative process and outcomes drop me a line and let’s chat about it.
  5. A HUGE thank you to all who have used my lensrentals.com and ThinkTank Photo affiliate links.
    I don’t have Patreon or anything else like that, so these links are a great way to support the show and my efforts here.
    I’m so grateful for the support you’ve shown me by using it and if you use the offer code latitude15 you’ll save 15% off your order as well. At the very least, save yourself the 15% and if you can use that link in the show notes then I’ll grab a few % as well and it won’t cost you a dime more.